Erik Naggum, 10 Years On

Posted on June 17, 2019 by Jack Kelly
Tags: lisp, coding, culture

Life is hard, and then you die.

Source: Erik Naggum - USENET Signature

Ten years ago today (according to Wikipedia and this blog comment; other sources say 2009-06-20, which seems to be incorrect), Erik Naggum died. He is one of fifteen people enshrined in cat-v.org’s Hotel Genius, and was one of the more controversial figures on USENET and comp.lang.lisp in particular. His writing was often incandescent - a mixture of intelligent thought, stunning eloquence, and searing flames. That flaming made him controversial, even before his death. I recall reading his writing when I was in university and fascinated by lisp, but I never knew him. Even so, I’m a bit sad that only ten years past his death, his impact on the internet seems largely confined to a couple of RFCs and a snarkive on Wikiquote.

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